I Think I’m Hot But My Boyfriend Doesn’t Seem to Think So

Evan, I want an honest opinion on my predicament. I am in a year-long relationship and my boyfriend is a wonderful man. We have a strong connection and share a lot of values, views and interests. We’re getting pretty serious but there’s something that is eating me up inside. I think my boyfriend doesn’t think I am hot!

Being 5’5″ and 115lbs and measuring 34-26-35.5”, I always assumed that I was in the same league as a lot of celebrities who boast similar bodies. Granted, I am a little heavier towards my hips and have a bit wider frame but does 1″ really make a lot of difference here? Well, yes, according to my dear b/f. He basically told me that I can’t even compare myself to an actress or other celebrities (this ridiculous conversation started while watching TV and making comments about some actress). To him, I am “good looking” and “pretty” but, say, Angelina Jolie is “hot”, and “beautiful” and I am well… a regular person so I am not, how could I possibly be? He “likes me and finds me attractive”, but by no means am I nearly as good looking as a movie star, and I am crazy to be even comparing myself to them. That was the essence of the conversation. Of course, I felt hurt and I had a few “nice” things to say to him in response – as in “look who’s talking” kind of things and this conversation went downhill right away.

Now, am I crazy to be upset about this outlook of his? Men I dated in the past were (or at least acted the part) infatuated by me. I am used to hearing how beautiful I am. Men turn heads when I walk down the street. While I am totally OK with the idea that somebody doesn’t find me the most beautiful woman on the planet, which a lot of people probably don’t, I am somehow not OK with that person being my boyfriend! I mean, if he was truly into me, wouldn’t I be to him more beautiful than all Hollywood celebrities combined? Wouldn’t he be saying things like “honey, Angelina Jolie got nothing on you”? What happens if I gain weight with age – do I go from being “pretty” to “ugly, but I love you anyway because we have 2 kids and a mortgage and divorcing you is too damn expensive”? Am I being insecure and shallow for zooming in on this issue when everything else is fine, or have I got a legitimate concern? Is recognizing that your girlfriend is not ranking at the top of your scale in terms of looks but is the best “package” you can get in terms of looks-personality-values-etc. a sign of a mature man, or a sign of a man who’s not really in love? And most importantly, is this a deal breaker? –Diana.

Love. This. Question.

It’s a microcosm of every misinterpretation in every relationship ever.

And before I answer it, I want to share with you a story.

It was a tale from a linguistics professor in college who explained to the class that, in studies, men tend to be much more direct in their language. Women are subtle.

We can see this in many forms of personal interaction.

Because women are so kind and supportive, they don’t always speak their minds. They obscure the truth to be sensitive, but fail to communicate their true feelings.

Women are sensitive to each others’ needs. Men are blunt.

Women pick up on details. “What was he wearing? How did he kiss you? Where were you at the time?” Men just want to cut to the chase. “What’s the point?”

Women are supportive of their friends. “No, you don’t look fat in those jeans.”
Men cut their buddies down. “Dude, you gained, like twenty pounds!”

In fact, suffice to say, women are largely better and more sensitive communicators and men should really learn take a page out of women’s emotional playbooks.

Except for this one thing…

Because women are so kind and supportive, they don’t always speak their minds. They obscure the truth to be sensitive, but fail to communicate their true feelings.

My linguistics professor used an example of how a typical man and a typical woman would respond to being stuck in a hot classroom.

The man would say, “It’s hot in here! Open the window!”

The woman would turn to her friend and say, “Do you think it’s hot in here?”

The man issues a command. The woman tries to build consensus, but she doesn’t come out directly and say what she really wants: open the goddamn window!

I’m not going to get into some debate about whether this is 100% accurate, because it’s not. Not all men are direct. Not all women are subtle and nuanced.

But the reason I’m sharing this, in reference to your situation, Diana, is that the most interesting thing about women’s linguistics patterns can be summed up in one line:

Men say what they mean. Women don’t.

Thus, women are often surprised when men say what they mean.

You asked your boyfriend a question.

He gave you an honest answer. You seem shocked that he would do so.

Women are always asking for “honest” men, and then, when you finally get one, you would prefer if he told you something untrue.

I’d be shocked if he told you otherwise. His answer would be the exact same answer I would give to my wife. The difference is that:

a) My wife would never ask me to compare her to Angelina Jolie. She’s not that insecure.
b) My wife would not be surprised at my response, which is that she’s no Angelina Jolie.
c) My wife would not take it personally that I told her the truth, because she knows she’s no Angelina Jolie.

So what’s really going on, Diana, is that you wanted your boyfriend to LIE to you.

You didn’t want the truth. You wanted praise.

Even if it meant that he lied right to your face.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Women are always asking for “honest” men, and then, when you finally get one, you would prefer if he told you something untrue.

You basically set yourself up for failure on a couple of levels.

• You expected your boyfriend to be “infatuated” with you because other men have been. Sorry, sweetie. Infatuation is soooo high school.

• You insulted your boyfriend’s looks because he didn’t lie and tell you were as attractive as one of the most attractive women on the planet. Catty much?

• You actually feel that that a man who is truly into you would think you are more beautiful than all of the Hollywood celebrities combined? Really?

How much self-delusion do you have to have to say such things?

I mean, let’s just take it to the extreme:

A man with average looks, average intelligence and an average job gets pissed at his girlfriend who doesn’t think he’s the love child of Brad Pitt and Steve Jobs.

Note: the girlfriend didn’t say he’s “average”. She just said he’s not perfect.

Should he be upset? I sure don’t think so.

Obviously, she loves him – that’s why she’s his girlfriend.

But if you compare ANY man to the most impressive person in his/her field, ALL them are going to compare unfavorably.

So, to answer your question:

Are you being insecure and shallow for zooming in on this issue when everything else is fine, or have you got a legitimate concern? Is your boyfriend recognizing that you may not be at the very top of his scale in terms of looks but are the best “package” he can get in terms of looks-personality-values-etc? Is this a sign of a mature man, or a sign of a man who’s not really in love? And most importantly, is this a deal breaker?

I would only say this…

You’re spot on in assessing your boyfriend’s maturity. Well done.

The real question is whether it’s a deal breaker for HIM to stay with a woman who has such a hard time hearing the truth.

I’ve dated such women and personally, I would rather date a 7 who can accept reality than a 10 who expects me to lie to her.

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Comments:

  1. 301
    Julie

    Evan – I am really surprised at the insensitivity you’ve shown this lady. If you read chapter 7 of the book “For Men Only” by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, maybe you would be a little more understanding of where this lady’s feelings are coming from. Just because a woman has the need to be the most beautiful woman in the world to her man does not mean that she is necessarily insecure.  Everyone has their own set of emotional needs and  should not be judged or criticized for them. It is very common for a woman to have this need.

  2. 302
    Tlynnsmith

    It’s one thing to not expect your man to find other women as physically attractive/more attractive. It’s another to have your man make the EXTRA effort of pointing out that you’re not as beautiful as some other woman/women, and questioning your ability to think rationally because you had the audacity to think you were.  I wouldn’t ask my man if I was as pretty as Halle Berry, because I know I’m not AND I know my value isn’t based on how I measure up to other women. But I also know that if I had access to the same resources celebrities have, I would be considered prettier. Hollywood “beauty” is often an illusion, and both men and women need to take a trip by reality. That’s why when these celebrity women are seen “in the wild”, without the benefit of Sam Fine’s makeup and Photoshop, they’re quite ordinary – INCLUDING Angelina.
    But if I did ask my man that type of question, I would expect him to say something like, “It really doesn’t matter. I’m with you, and I’m happy so there’s really no need to answer that, so I won’t”. Not, “Hell no…matter of fact, what made you even take the time to formulate that question??? You’re not even in the same league!!!” What would be the point? So, regardless of the fact that she wasn’t ready for the “truth” as he saw it, he still gets the “jerk” label, because it wasn’t necessary for him to go in like he did.
    We can keep it real, but we can also leave our partner with a measure of confidence – done out of a spirit of love and kindness, not the need to “tell it like it is”. It’s usually not what you say, but how you say it.  A kind man is more desirable that one who feels the need to be brutally honest, in a situation that doesn’t really require that hard of a hammer.
    With that said, this woman needs a reality check. The whole, “I’m used to being told I’m beautiful…” mindset is the problem, despite her words to the contrary.  Too many women have internalized the concept that women are most valuable when they’re beautiful – ain’t much else to us. That’s a problem, because “hot” women don’t have easier relationships – especially if their physical beauty is their only asset. Just because a man thinks you’re “hot” doesn’t mean he’s committed to you.  Being beautiful doesn’t promise quality, affirming, loving relationships. A lot of women (and men) can’t grasp this.
     

  3. 303
    Melissa

    I read the 5 love languages and it is an eye opener. The OP primarity love language most likely is word of affirmation. I am making this judgement from her response. I dont feel its insecurity its just how she felts love.  The point to relationship is to feel and share love. I see her side. My love language is time. No matter how great he maybe if I dont get that from him I am out because I dont feel loved. The challenge is to communicate that to our partner as well as know their love language. 

  4. 304
    Holly

    Looks really aren’t everything. I was in love with a man who said I was the prettiest girl he dated and the best girlfriend he ever has but he left me because he was commitment phobic and there’s nothing I can do to change this. I don’t think a man or woman can think one person is the best looking the world because there are so many attractive people. And even if someone is attractive, some personality flaws could really kill the attraction. If a man treats you well, compliments you, is faithful to you and thinks very highly of you, then you are the most beautiful woman in the world to him because he wouldn’t do it for anyone else – you’re just more beautiful to him beyond looks which people can grow tired of.  

  5. 305
    Lo

    Evan I agree mostly with what you’re saying, but when it comes to relationships, it seems counter intuitive that the male way should always be the right way. I have something to add. When women ask, do you think I’m as attractive as Angelina – it’s because they know they probably aren’t, nor as OP said, do they feel the need to be. That type of question is an immature way of going about it, but I think the boyfriend should make attempts to recognize what she is really asking for. It’s clearly an unnatural question to ask and if her boyfriend knows she has certain insecurities and sensitivities he should recognize that she is only asking for more love and support while she is feeling momentarily unsure of herself. She wants to FEEL she is the most important to him. That her needs come first. Her boyfriend failed to understand how important this was to her. Like you said, men and women have different communication styles, and regardless of gender, you need to learn to communicate with your partner, both ways. She did not hurt him by asking that question, so it was not necessarily wrong, he needed to understand she is feeling unloved when she asks such a question and did not have the tools to know how to ask for more. How often do we have those tools when we ourselves truly feel unloved? Relationships are about learning to gently bend to eachother and learn each others languages this way – it is the only way we grow. Evans answer seems more along the lines of, he should find someone more direct and she should find someone more sensitive. Useless if you ask me, it’s about growth and adaptation. You forget the importance of compassion and empathy.

    1. 305.1
      JoeK

      “She wants to FEEL she is the most important to him. That her needs come first. Her boyfriend failed to understand how important this was to her.”


       
      Hahahah…if that’s what she wanted to communicate, then use those words.
       
      Men arent mind readers – expecting your BF/husband to be one will just result in unhappiness for you both.
       
      Here’s the same scenario, woman A says “I’m feeling a bit disconnected from you lately, would you mind if we just cuddled on the couch for a while?” and woman B says “Is Angelina prettier than me?”
       
      Which approach do you think will be more effective?
       

      1. 305.1.1
        EmeraldDust

        I know there are prettier women than me out there, and I dont’ expect that fact to escape any future relationship partner I might have in the future.  But if he knows there prettier women out there, and freely comes home to me, than that will be just fine by me.

  6. 306
    Jo

    This reminds me of the guy I’m dating except id take him telling me Angelina Jolie is hotter anyday over what he actually said. Obviously I would never ask him this question. I remember showing him a picture of a pretty girl the same ethnicity as me and asking him isn’t she pretty? he then tells me she is prettier than me, which I DIDNT ASK, followed by but she looks fake with a looong pause between those statements. Is this justified too or is he trying to ruin my self esteem. Also, when I mentioned that guys check me out or anything about my looks he just gives me a scoff, as if too say I’m not anything or just making it up. 

  7. 307
    HappyGirl

    I see things from both sides of the spectrum.  Diana admits that she was wanting a response to her comment/question – which is insecure and immature, but sometimes some people need validation or the like, alright I guess.  Not one of those people, but I know some.  The boyfriend was honest, kudos…but he should’ve checked his wording BIG TIME.  Be kind.  That’s not a male vs. female thing…it’s a human thing.  Take a second, think about your response, and BE KIND.
    I made a comment about Cindy Crawford saying, “I hope I look that good when I’m her age!  I mean, I’d have to be that good looking now, but you know what I mean.  Age SUPER gracefully,” and then I laughed.  I wasn’t fishing for a compliment, I said exactly what I meant.  I think I’m very pretty!  My boyfriend responded the MOST PERFECT way possible…I believe he was 100% honest with me.  He said, “you are beautiful, babe…no way you could not be…at any age.”
    Yeah, he’s that guy – the best kind.  He didn’t say she or I was better looking (to me, she is), or anything like that.  He told me how he feels about ME.  NO comparison.  And I wasn’t even looking for a response at all.  THAT is a REAL MAN.  THAT is being KIND.  I know I’m nice looking with or without him saying so, but he did…and he does.  And he means it.  I think every good woman should have a boyfriend like mine.
    To me, it sounds like there’s a more going on here that we’re hearing about.  Unless it’s a therapy session, Diana needs to take ALL advice with a grain of salt unless from a mental health professional who knows their story.

  8. 308
    Anthony Migchels

    “Because women are so kind and supportive,” hahahahahahaha :-) 
    Next you explain men are so honest? ;-)

    Women don’t communicate better at all. They talk a lot, but that’s something different entirely. Communication is 99% listening and women are notorious bad listeners, especially when things concern themselves.

    Women are less autonomous and they therefore need other people more than men do. That’s why try to connect a lot. Also,  they’re more emotional. They’re more busy creating emotional vibes and this can be both positive and incredibly negative, as most married men will agree.

    A man must learn that a woman is usually communicating emotions. Men listen to what they say, but usually what they say is irrelevant. What matters is what her words make him feel. And what these words make him feel is what she’s feeling and that’s what he should be responding to, not so much to what she’s saying. 

    1. 308.1
      starthrower68

      Women AND men should be kind because it’s the right thing to do. Most of the time doing right is the only reward we get from doing right.

  9. 309
    Joe K. Skonue

    Diana is 9% below a scientifically measured BMI that men find ideal. Diana’s BMI: 19.1. Ideal BMI for Hottest Female: 20.83.

    As for Angelina Jolie, she’s not much of a looker in real life, sans high-powered lights, expensive cameras and loads of features-manipulating make-up. Do you doubt this true? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ejx13iEQdwU/Tng-K86S8II/AAAAAAAAAEY/nCi95zBaq4I/s1600/Angelina+jolie+without+makeup+2011+1.jpg

    Far too many have been suckered by the magic of Hollywood. It’s all cameras, lighting and make-up on 2d material.

    Most real-life, not famous females who guys find good-looking are far prettier than celebrity females. 

    We don’t know the degree of symmetry in Diana’s face or her body. We don’t know if her BF likes Diana’s special scent. We don’t know how well he, um, fits in her. We don’t know if Diana has the right degree of aggressiveness and urge frequency when it comes to sex for her BF.

    There are many unspoken factors guys use to gauge the staying power of their mates. 

    Evan Katz would like to make it about what people say to each other, because that is what he sells, better communication for women. But it has little to do with that. It’s what couples don’t say, but rather think and hope to get, which is what counts, both with respect to each other, as well as how peer-driven they are. 

    Self-indulgent conformists like having the best mates they can fetch both to gain acceptance among a group as well as to elevate status in that group.

    Good luck!

     

  10. 310
    Jenny Ravelo

    Honesty is good, but only to the extent it’s necessary. Being honest about a person’s looks isn’t.  Most people cannot feel comfortable with someone that thinks they’re not attractive enough. Men try (and women) try to get the best they can and we know this instinctively, when someone says “you’re cute but not as beautiful as some other women” is undterstood as “i would prefer someone else, but you’re the best I can have”. We already know if we’re beautiful or not and yes, it’s not rational, but we don’t want to hear anything bad about our appearance.

    On the other hand, the OP seems to be insecure. A confident person doesn’t pay as much attention at the men infatuated with her or wants her boyfriend to compare her to stars.

    Comparing onself with celebs is worthless for one reason: celebs have the celeb status, so no matter if we have a better figure or face, we’ll be judged as inferior when it comes to them. 

  11. 311
    Caroline

    Evan, I think your response was ludicrous. If a girl is dating someone, he should obviously praise her for her qualities and looks. The girl with this question is probably beautiful, as are all women. Men need to cut the shit and stop expecting women to all look like Angelina Jolie. If my boyfriend of a year said that to me, I would dump his ass. Find someone who thinks you are beautiful for who you are and if they don’t think you are, they are not worth your time.

    1. 311.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Actually, the ludicrous part is asking if you’re hotter than Angelina Jolie. But thanks for your constructive feedback. A man can find his girlfriend beautiful without having to offer such over-the-top lavish praise. Reality is a beautiful thing. Embrace it.

    2. 311.2
      JoeK

      Here’s the thing – I’ve had women ask me such nonsensical questions, and in my less-experienced days answered them in less-than-stellar ways.
       
      In later years, when I heard such questions I’d give a BS answer to avoid the argument/hurt feelings, and then planned my exit (if we hadn’t been dating long). It’s a huge red flag for insecurity and immaturity, which she’ll hang on me eventually for “saying the wrong thing” according to some unpublished memo in her head. I’m not waiting around for that kind of nonsense.
       
      Today I’d just answer “I’m not having this conversation – nothing good can come of it” and mean it.

  12. 312
    Carly

    I disagree with Evan and agree with the woman who feels her boyfriend is just not that into her. Most all women want their men to think they are beautiful and hot. They don’t expect to be the most beautiful woman in the world, just that the man they are sleeping with finds them beautiful and sexy. This guy clearly does not make her feel that way. He is either playing with her mind or is not that into her. Either way, it is not a good sign. The only woman that would accept the word “attractive ” is a very unattractive woman. 

  13. 313
    Molly

    I don’t know how old this thread is (why aren’t there dates?), but I’ve read a few comments and I think there is a misunderstanding between men and women when it comes to beauty.  Women have been told from birth that our looks are, beyond everything, the most important thing in cultivating and preserving.  Through tv, magazines, movies, advertisements, etc. etc, we are only worthy if we are beautiful.  We will only be loved if our man thinks we are the hottest thing in the world.  Can you really blame this girl for feeling insecure?  I can’t.  To equate her boyfriend’s opinion of Angelina’s beauty to, say, your girlfriend thinking George Clooney is hotter than you, is very unfair.  Looks are not a very important trait to women when it comes to mating and forming relationships.  Essentially, it would be like your girlfriend telling you that you don’t work hard enough, that you are, in her eyes, not as charming as George; basically, that you’re a loser in comparison to George Clooney.  Even that isn’t really a good comparison, considering that there are a number of qualities in men that women look for, where women seem to be discarded if not up to a certain level of attractiveness.

    I realize that men think there is more to women than looks, but I hear men all the time talk about how they would date so and so just because she’s hot.  They never mention other qualities, such as intelligence, wit, humor, etc.  It’s usually just based on looks.  So, ultimately, women are convinced that this is all that matters.

    It’s easy for women to get wrapped up in our looks and how others perceive us.  It wouldn’t have hurt for him to tell her that in his eyes she is the most beautiful girl in the world.  It would make her feel cherished and at ease, if anything.   

    1. 313.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You’re right. It wouldn’t have hurt for him to say that. And yet the easier thing for her to do is not ask stupid questions based on foolish insecurities where she doesn’t want the real answer.

  14. 314
    Joe

    Is he more attractive physically than some movie star, zac efron or whatever the ladies love nowadays? No? Then shut up.  Seriously.  He’d probably say you’re the most beautiful woman in the world if you’d call him the most beautiful man.  

     

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